Archive for January, 2012

How not to do Twitter support

January 25th, 2012

Warning: This is a rant. I do it now and then when something annoys me. Call it therapy.

I have an xbox 360 that was kindly given to me by a friend who had a spar, and I am currently working through another friend’s game collection. I say working thought, I am still on the first game, but I am not the biggest games player and you can’t rush these things you know.

Anyway, I was wondering a while ago if the BBC iPlayer was available for it and when I checked I found that it was not because Microsoft insisted on charging for it and the BBC was not allowed to do so. Then last year it was announced that it will now be available on the xbox early this year. If it is available for free then I decided I really should wire up the console to the Internet, and it would make life easer if I know this before next week’s broadband install. It has not been clear if it will in fact be free so earlier this evening I thought I would do something radical and ask.

I was going to use the support section of the web site but as the xbox twitter support account claims to be the “Guinness World Record Holder” of the “Most Responsive Brand on Twitter” so why not ask them on Twitter? This is a transaction of what happened…

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 18:00
@XboxSupport When the iPlayer is released will it be free to use or will I need to pay like the other TV services?

Xbox Support 2 (@XboxSupport2) 25/01/2012 18:02
@alistair We don’t have that information, unfortunately. ^PC

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:01
@XboxSupport2 Thanks. Any pointers to find this out would be welcome.

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:04
@alistair Sorry, we don’t have any info. ^PJ

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:09
@XboxSupport1 Do you not have the ability to escalate queries you can’t answer?

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:11
@alistair We do, but that info has not been released yet. ^PJ

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:14
@XboxSupport1 Wait a moment, I thought you said you did not have any info. Are you saying it is secret at the moment? When will it be out?

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:16
@alistair We don’t have any info regarding that. Let us know if you need anything else. ^PJ

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:19
@XboxSupport1 If you could escalate my inquiry that would be great. Thank you.

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:23
@alistair Cheers! ^PJ

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:24
@XboxSupport1 When and how will I get a response?

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:29
@alistair We are unable to respond with more info on that. ^PJ

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:35
@XboxSupport1 Sorry but I feel like you are sticking two fingers up at me. Can I make a complaint? Do you have an email address?

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:37
@alistair Sorry you feel that way, but we aren’t able to assist. We do have report card coming out, you can check your DM’s for those. ^PJ

Alistair MacDonald (@alistair) 25/01/2012 19:53
@XboxSupport1 I have found the contact details I require through the web site and will take it from there.

Xbox Support (@XboxSupport1) 25/01/2012 19:54
@alistair Ok, sounds good. Let us know if you need anything else. ^PJ

It is true that I always got a response from Twitter, although I can’t say it answered my simple question. For reference I called the xbox live support number on the web site after this last tweet and got an answer straight away. The answer being yes I will need to pay for “gold membership” to access the iPlayer on the xbox, and that is just not going to happen. Why could they not tell me this on Twitter?

Now I don’t claim to be a Social Media expert, but I am an advanced social media user and I know how not to treat people on Twitter. Microsoft got a lot right here in fact, but the big thing they got wrong is treating a person like an idiot and not having a next step when the canned responses they have fail them. Even if they could not tell me then they should have taken the conversation off twitter and politely said that they were really sorry but we can’t tell you yet and why.

Okay, rant over (for now).

Broadband and line rental for £8.56 a month!

January 23rd, 2012

It is a constant surprise to people that I have not had ADSL broadband at home, ever. In truth I do have a 3G Mifi that is essentially a portable wifi access point and at £8 / month for 5GB transfer (an old half price offer that I still have) and I use it when at home and away.

With last year’s VAT rise I was paying £12 a month for the fixed phone line with evening and weekend calls. I was looking for a cheaper option and considering going mobile only when I spotted a great deal from Plus Net. I sign up for an annual contract with the monthly cost is £12.73 (offer expires 14/02/2012). So now I can have an expected 16mbps broadband with a 10GB transfer limit for just 73p more than I was paying for just the line. I could have had a monthly contract instead of an annual one for a few more quid and a setup fee but I went for an annual one.

In the past I had a Plus Net business connection at my old office, and two family members use them, so I have confidence in there service. They are owned by BT (shudder) but run as a separate company with decent support. You might also find it amusing that they own the company I am moving away from.

What is better is that I used Quidco and got another £50 cash back (offer expires on 31/01/2012). I recommend checking Quidco for all big inline purchases as it has saved me over £200 over time. So now for the next year my monthly cost is the equivalent to £8.56, a whole £3.44 cheaper than I was paying for the phone alone. I am oddly pleased.

If you want to do the same then please consider using my Quicdo affiliate link to place the order. It will not cost you any more and I get a small kick back of you do. Also as part of the Plus Net signup process please enter that “alistairuk” refereed you for the same reason. If do not want to then that is fine, I still recommend taking the offer if you can.